News ID: 113542
Publish Date : 18 March 2023 - 22:00

TEHRAN -- Naval forces of Iran, China and Russia on Saturday wrapped up their joint military exercises, held the in Sea of Oman as part the three partners’ efforts to strengthen trilateral security cooperation.
The maneuvers, officially named “Combined Maritime Security Belt exercise 2023,” saw naval forces of Iran’s Army and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) joining those of China and Russia to practice a variety of maritime military operations.
Among other operations, the participants practiced confronting maritime terror activities and responding to fire on vessels.
Iranian Navy chief Shahram Irani said friendly and allied countries had been invited to join the maneuvers since last year, and some of them responded to attend as observers to the drills.
These countries will be joining the next round of the drills next year, said the Navy commander, adding, “We expect that the number of the participating states and vessels will increase next year.”
“Maritime security has been achieved in the region and our neighbors have also felt the difference. Today, they know their [real] benefactors and brothers,” he added.
The three countries held similar drills last year and in 2019, in what was widely seen as a show of unity against the United States.
The Russian defense ministry said on Saturday Russia, China and Iran have completed three-way naval exercises in the Arabian Sea that included artillery fire at targets on the sea and in the air.
The exercises, off the Iranian port of Chabahar, took place as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to host his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Moscow for a three-day state visit starting on Monday.
Russia has continued to stage military exercises with partners, especially China, despite the strain on its armed forces from the year-long war in Ukraine.

The Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov and the Chinese destroyer Nanjing were involved in the drills that took place on Thursday and Friday, the defense ministry said.
The Gorshkov, which is equipped with Russia’s latest-generation Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles, also took part in joint naval exercises last month with China and South Africa. 
Putin arrived in Crimea on Saturday on an unannounced visit to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine.
Putin was greeted by the Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, and taken to see a new children’s centre and art school on what the official said was a surprise visit.


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